Author Topic: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)  (Read 116545 times)

Franklin

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 204
  • Location: Rochester, NY
Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« on: September 13, 2013, 02:07:56 PM »
I'm 10 years past my divorce.  The kids have grown.  I date.  I am happy.  I have a secure financial future.  But my path started at the very bottom.  I had my clock cleaned.  What I claimed as my net worth was divided in half and given to my ex-wife.  She has now remarried, so now her assets are also his assets.  So by my own logic, her new husband owns 25% of my net worth as it were.  (Think about it.)  I invested in my ability to pull myself up by my bootstraps, so my settlement gave most liquid assets to my ex, and I kept the long term investments.  So I had to live cash poor.  She bought me out of my house, giving me enough to pay for 20% on my new house.  I bought at the top of the market, right before the crash.  The value of my house went down about the same amount of my deposit.  Then I lost my job because of the economic downturn.  Face-plant, the official bottom.  I only had a single moment of panic, when I realized I couldn't afford Christmas.  Aside from that, I kept my sights on the future.  With a keen eye on my expenses, a market bounce-back, and a new job, I dug out slowly but surely.  I have gained so much wisdom from that experience.

So what's your story?

Hugh H

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 75
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2013, 06:13:15 PM »
Pre MMM, bought my now ex-wife a brand new SUV, because she didn't want to share a car with me (wanted her own). 25k, 100% financed. We were divorced a year later; I got stuck with the bill and she kept the car.

SnackDog

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1284
  • Location: Latin America
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2013, 06:48:26 PM »
I have a friend, now happily retired, who was divorced five times (!) without significant financial calamity. I once asked him how he managed that and he laughed "I never marry a woman who is difficult to divorce!"

On_a_slow_boat

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 28
  • Age: 41
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2013, 06:57:11 PM »
About 1.5 years ago my ex and I split up. It was my decision, she loved me but i did not love her.

We had purchased a house together at around the market peak.  We had paid down quite a bit of the mortgage and the size of the payments compared to what our incomes had become was quite low.  I guess a fairly typical story. I miss the house sometimes!

The breakup came and she handled it extremely maturely. We kept our finances separate, so the only thing was the house. Basically it was sold - for about a 15% loss. I made sure she got back all the "principal" she put in. So this shifted the loss market losses of the house from splitting it to 100% me.

Taking the loss on the house was my decision and i have never regretted it. The way i think about it.... the biggest loss we both suffered was time. The money is insignificant in the long run when you consider what you would do with those years once you know you are not in the right relationship.  This is written from the perspective of a short term relationship admitting that once children get involved the splits are not nearly as clean as my super simple example.



prosaic

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 202
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2013, 07:35:15 PM »
As I was divorcing (he left me for men), I discovered my ex had opened "joint" credit cards and done huge balance transfers from cards that were his before we met onto the new "joint" cards. Meanwhile, he cleaned out the savings account (not a huge amount) and I later learned he had borrowed thousands from his mother -- and used a cash advance check on a cc to "pay her back".

Because the joint cards were opened online, I was told I had to prove I hadn't applied for them (!!!!) and because I couldn't prove a negative, and because we lived in a state where all joint debt became marital debt, I got stuck with half the bills.

But wait! There's more! My student loans came due shortly after we separated, and they were for $3500 more than I had taken out. For the next year I argued via certified mail and phone that the amount was wrong. Then the loans went into deferral for 5 years, but no one ever resolved the discrepancy.

When the loans came due, I kept fighting, until my school's financial aid office produced a photocopy of the signed $3500 student loan check -- with my FORGED signature in my ex's handwriting.

By then he was dead (cancer). I couldn't prove he'd done it. I never saw the money and have no idea what he did with it; it never went through our accounts, and I had rejected the loan that year at school for the first semester. This was the second semester's allotment of loan (which I'd rejected as well). I had to pay it back.

And I could go on...

bogart

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1056
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2013, 08:00:33 PM »
When I met my now-DH he was recently divorced, still no property settlement, not enough income (on his own) to support his kids (he and his ex split time and costs, but of course there was considerable duplication e.g. both had houses with a bedroom for each kid that was only used half the time) and no money to pay his ex for her half of the house they jointly owned that he was still living in.

We got that sorted out with the help of my income (but only barely; I was fresh out of grad school and while I had no debt I also had no assets and not much earning potential in those early years), put the kids through college (split costs with the ex), covered their health insurance until they could manage it on their own, spent a ton of money on infertility treatments after DH's vasectomy reversal didn't work and now have one kid at home, plus the two grown and gone.  And we and DH's ex, now remarried, aren't best buddies, but we get along well enough to e.g. share a vacation rental when we and the grown kids and their families all get together. 

So, you know, we muddled along.  But yes, DH and his ex took a big whack when she left him, and I joined the fun when I joined him.

vern

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 575
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2013, 09:23:32 PM »
My friend says..."Instead of getting married, I'm just going to find a woman I hate and buy her a house."

kudy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 945
  • Age: 37
  • Location: RV Traveling the U.S.
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2013, 09:37:22 PM »
thaks for the horror stories everyone ;)

Thespoof

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 50
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2013, 10:36:54 PM »
This is my first post here...been lurking for several months.

This thread got my attention since I am going through a divorce myself. I pretty much lost everything two years ago. I had to declare bankruptcy and was discharged in June. I am now trying to rebuild my life at 39. I often see on this forum and others how many people are counting on their joint money to obtain FI. That is something I will never do again. I lost 20 years of my life because my ex decided to do something (someone) else. I think it is extraordinarily risky to mingle your personal financial economy with another person.

I have since found a new love and we live together (a year now), however, our finances are completely seperate and will always remain seperate. My share of our living arrangements are no more than I could afford on my own i.e. if something happened with us I could live on my own without skipping a beat - financially speaking. I see so many people that get together and get into a lifestyle that takes 2.5 people (or more!) to support LOL. Been there, done that, lost it all.

I have learned some hard lessons and I am now on a much better track. I am currently saving 41% of my income after all my expenses including child support. Not too shabby. Once my kids are older I'll be well over 50%...of course I'll be in my 50's when that happens :(

frompa

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 407
  • Location: Pennsylvania
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2013, 09:24:46 AM »
I second that it's extraordinarily risky to mingle finances with another, but so too it's extremely risky to mingle emotions with another.  I'm divorced, and though divorcing meant splitting our assets down the middle, as we'd both contributed more or less equally over the 25 years of our marriage, this didn't seem a horror show to me. The biggest financial impact of the divorce, for me, was the effect the emotional uproar had on my ability to work.  For the first three years after, I was so wiped out and depressed, I did nothing more than tread water, financially.  (I'm self employed, so if I don't do the work, I don't get paid.)  But as I got over it all, my frugal muscle got back in shape, and I regained my normal work ability... life is much better.  It sounds like a number of earlier posters felt they contributed more than their ex-spouses in the time before divorce, so yeah, that would suck to see half of what you mostly contributed go to someone else.  Although I probably contributed more than half over the years of my marriage, our partnership was so long, and financially we shared the same values, so I don't feel bitter about it.  Wasn't easy, wouldn't want to go through it again, but I've landed on my two feet because of what I did myself after the divorce.

JHC89

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 25
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2013, 10:01:57 AM »
Hi everyone,

I'm still dating but this is a topic I'm very interested in because I know how big a setback divorce would be for my goals.

On_a_slow_boat and Thespoof: How did you bring up the topic of keeping finances separate with your significant other? Were they offended at first and you had to convince them, or did they get on board right away? I know every situation will be different, I'm just curious to hear how your's went. If you don't feel comfortable sharing, I completely understand.

Thespoof

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 50
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2013, 10:15:24 AM »
Well, I think all relationships start out with things seperate so as the relationship went forward I made my position known through general converstaions. She also agrees that we should keep things seperate - thank gwad because she isn't the greatest with her money :-) she can do what ever she wants so long as she has enough to pay her share of the bills! If she wants to blow every last penny on lulu's and wine that's her prerogative LOL.  I did bring up the idea of signing a cohabitation agreement as well...she seemed ok with that. I am very interested in protecting my money and personal economy from forced common law relationship crap. Never likely to get married again for the very same reason and if I did there would be a prenup without a doubt.

Franklin

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 204
  • Location: Rochester, NY
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2013, 10:29:42 AM »
JHC, I sense your discomfort with that conversation, and I share the same sentiment.  It doesn't seem natural to enter a relationship while covering your a**.  It sounds very awkward.  Also, I may be a little old fashioned but I still hold out hope that when "the one" comes along I will be willing to throw it all away.

ender

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4942
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2013, 10:37:11 AM »
It's important to figure out where you stand on these sorts of things early, rather than later.

It's better to realize 3 months into a relationship you don't see eye-to-eye on something significant than to wait 3 years to find out (this goes for anything which is "make or break" - money, religion, family, etc).

KMMK

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1472
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada
    • Meena Kestirke Insurance
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2013, 10:45:35 AM »
It doesn't seem natural to enter a relationship while covering your a**.

To each their own, so not judging, but I wanted to comment on your above sentence.  My philosophy: "It doesn't seem natural to live my life without covering my a**." A relationship doesn't change how I view the world. I'm still a practical, worst case scenario thinker. I just don't ever think that I know how something will play out or that nothing wrong will ever happen.

As to the rest of the thread - not divorced. But I have a pre-nup and separate finances, so if I divorced I'd know exactly what my assets would be.

Re: having the conversation about separate finances, yes, it generally comes up a bit while dating. If you split the bills or take turns paying you give each other the impression of maintaining financial autonomy. It was relatively easy to have that conversation when we were thinking seriously about marriage, as we both preferred separate money. I was the one who brought up the idea of a pre-nup, even though he had more assets than I did. As the more financial savvy person, I felt it was the right thing to do, to bring up the topic. I wanted to be as open and upfront with him as possible. And I wanted to make it 100% clear that I wasn't marrying him for his money.

I think, if you have very different views on how money should be split or not, you may not be compatible enough to get married. There's no way I'd ever allow someone else full access to my money. Full knowledge, but not full access. If they couldn't deal with that, then no big loss.

You could say I'm setting my marriage up for failure, or am a jaded anti-romantic, but with all the divorce stories out there, I really don't know how people can continue to jump full in without a second thought to the potential financial losses.

« Last Edit: September 15, 2013, 10:47:21 AM by Kestra »

pachnik

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1833
  • Age: 55
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2013, 11:20:03 AM »
I am in a common-law relationship and we keep our money separate.  For legal reasons, my lawyer told me to do this. In a nutshell, my spouse isn't able to get a divorce inexpensively at this point.  And, yes, he has tried everything from a do-it-yourself kit and being reasonable to going to a lawyer. 

Plus, I was in a relationship before with a controlling spouse and I won't go down that road again. 

Plus plus, in that relationship I didn't take care of my legal rights and wasn't that careful in my finances, so I am happier keeping my money separate these days.

Anyway, we have a cohabitation agreement which is protective of me against my spouse's wife.  Not to mention, if we should separate.  We are an older couple and when I told him that I wanted a cohabitation agreement (aka pre-nup) he didn't have a problem with it.  Especially since it would protect my assets against his wife which was a huge concern for him as well.  I wouldn't feel at all safe in my circumstances without this agreement.

My gut tells me that younger people may take offence if their fiance/fiancee asks for a cohabitation agreement.  They may not have the experiences with divorce that older people might have had (and I would hope not).  And it sounds pretty un-romantic.   
« Last Edit: September 15, 2013, 11:52:00 AM by pachnik »

Thespoof

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 50
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2013, 11:44:03 AM »
The unromantic thing is funny to me.  One's personal economy has nothing to do with romance and needs to be protected from other people otherwise one could be in big trouble when the other person decides to chart a different course and takes everything from you. Romance and finance are not bedfellows.

When I  found out she was sleeping around and I left, I ended up in a basement suite for a year with literally nothing more than a chair, a tv and my office equipment...a buddy had to lend me a blow-up mattress to sleep on. I was in debt up to my eyeballs, business was brutally slow and I now had rent to pay, debt payments to make, half a mortgage and kids and to pay for since my then wife couldn't afford the place on her own. And i wasn't making much more than peanuts at the time. It bankrupted me when we sold the house eventually for a loss of $160,000. Never again will I put myself in that position. My  money is my money, I work hard for it and I intend to keep it :) And since finding MM and other sites plan to make it work hard for me...I currently save 41% of my income now.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2013, 11:48:15 AM by Thespoof »

JHC89

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 25
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2013, 03:07:52 PM »
Thanks for sharing your experiences Thespoof, Kestra, and Franklin.

Franklin: I agree that it does seem awkward to enter a relationship with that mindset. Hopefully I'll find the perfect woman and am lucky enough to never have to deal with it, but you never know what can happen and how people can change.

I've never had a very serious relationship, so I don't know exactly how it goes, but I'm hoping that through the feeling-out process we'll have a fairly good idea early on if we're on the same page.

Maybe I'm too pessimistic about this, but I'm of the same mindset as Thespoof. I worked really hard to save what I have and want to do what I can to make sure it isn't taken away. I also think that part of a serious relationship is being able to trust and commit to your partner, so with a bit of luck I'll find that special lady and won't have to worry about it.

bogart

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1056
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2013, 06:11:31 PM »
My gut tells me that younger people may take offence if their fiance/fiancee asks for a cohabitation agreement.  They may not have the experiences with divorce that older people might have had (and I would hope not).  And it sounds pretty un-romantic.

I think too that many "younger" people are contemplating having/raising kids with their future spouse, and I personally feel (and would guess many others do too) that it's hard to think about keeping finances separate while planning/raising a family.  Conversely, "older" people may be more likely to have existing kids whose interests they want/need to protect and thus may have motives for keeping finances separate that don't apply to those who are entering a romantic relationship but don't have children (not that everyone older does and no one younger does, but just in general). 

Franklin

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 204
  • Location: Rochester, NY
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2013, 07:23:36 PM »
JHC: You are half my age but twice as wise.  Keep it up.
Thespoof: You sound like you got hurt real bad friend.  I went through some of the same conditions as you.  I'm sure you learned a lot about yourself.  To your point, I don't agree that "one's personal economy has nothing to do with romance."  When you find the one you love, it's ALL about personal.  If you are not willing to leave yourself completely vulnerable to her, emotionally, physically, and yes financially, then she's not the one.  I'm not talking about being gullable.  We are not FI because we are idiots.  I'm just talking about loving a woman as you would love your kids.  For me that would be UNCONDITIONALLY.

happy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5429
  • Location: NSW Australia
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #20 on: September 16, 2013, 06:53:03 AM »
Hmm, well as a divorced older person:

When I married I was "in lurv", unconditional, naked, exposed etc etc. No hesitation in making joint finances.

Once married I discovered he was a spendthrift, and once divorced my finances improved massively, so no WMFD here.  Interestingly finances were not part of the reason for divorce, but it was a nice silver lining to finally figure out I would be better off as a single parent.

If I were to re-couple I'd only consider a fellow frugal: in any case I doubt I'd find much compatibility with a consumate consumer.

DoubleDown

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1991
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #21 on: September 16, 2013, 08:12:17 AM »
I think one thing that can help anyone is to understand how certain life choices would play out in the event of a split. A prenuptial agreement can certainly help, particularly if there's an imbalance of assets or earnings/pensions entering the relationship. Same is true if there are children from a previous marriage, as already noted. I insisted on a prenup for my second (current) marriage, as I had kids' interests to protect, and I was not interested in splitting my wealth in half a second time.

But perhaps equally important is understanding how your shared wealth and future earnings would be split in the event of a divorce. In almost all cases, unless it is spelled out otherwise in a prenup*, anything acquired during marriage will be split equally, regardless of who "earned" it. So if you're comfortable with the idea that everything acquired during the marriage should be evenly split, you have no worries. If you anticipate being a high earner compared to your spouse, or inheriting, or having a pension, etc., then you need to think carefully before commingling finances.

As an example, understand the ramifications of having one parent stay home to raise children while another is employed. There is no distinction in who "earned" the money and all the assets -- both parties contributed equally to the family in the eyes of the law, and it will all be split -- assets, earnings, pensions. The employed spouse could end up continuing to support that arrangement for life through alimony payments. Imagine, you have adult children who left home long ago, and you're continuing to support an ex spouse who doesn't work, and sits at home, for the rest of his/her life on your continued earnings (you still have to go to work), because that is the arrangement you set up 20 years ago when you were still married with babies! Oh, and your spouse left you? Doesn't matter, you still pay. There will be no early retirement for you, because your alimony payment will never be reduced, and certainly not by you choosing to retire early.

* Even with a prenup, you may be unlikely to keep things separate. As soon as an asset or earnings are commingled in any way, it's now marital property to be split equally. And a prenup likely will not be upheld if there's a gross imbalance.


LowER

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 161
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2013, 08:35:08 AM »
I think one thing that can help anyone is to understand how certain life choices would play out in the event of a split. A prenuptial agreement can certainly help, particularly if there's an imbalance of assets or earnings/pensions entering the relationship. Same is true if there are children from a previous marriage, as already noted. I insisted on a prenup for my second (current) marriage, as I had kids' interests to protect, and I was not interested in splitting my wealth in half a second time.

But perhaps equally important is understanding how your shared wealth and future earnings would be split in the event of a divorce. In almost all cases, unless it is spelled out otherwise in a prenup*, anything acquired during marriage will be split equally, regardless of who "earned" it. So if you're comfortable with the idea that everything acquired during the marriage should be evenly split, you have no worries. If you anticipate being a high earner compared to your spouse, or inheriting, or having a pension, etc., then you need to think carefully before commingling finances.

As an example, understand the ramifications of having one parent stay home to raise children while another is employed. There is no distinction in who "earned" the money and all the assets -- both parties contributed equally to the family in the eyes of the law, and it will all be split -- assets, earnings, pensions. The employed spouse could end up continuing to support that arrangement for life through alimony payments. Imagine, you have adult children who left home long ago, and you're continuing to support an ex spouse who doesn't work, and sits at home, for the rest of his/her life on your continued earnings (you still have to go to work), because that is the arrangement you set up 20 years ago when you were still married with babies! Oh, and your spouse left you? Doesn't matter, you still pay. There will be no early retirement for you, because your alimony payment will never be reduced, and certainly not by you choosing to retire early.

* Even with a prenup, you may be unlikely to keep things separate. As soon as an asset or earnings are commingled in any way, it's now marital property to be split equally. And a prenup likely will not be upheld if there's a gross imbalance.

For anyone contemplating marriage or divorce, read DoubleDowns' post several times until you really get it.  It's no joke and happens every day.  I have a friend who started his/her LIFETIME alimony/maintenance payments not long after turning 40.  LIFETIME does not mean until you retire - it means until one of you dies or the receiver of the alimony remarries!  That's a high cost for 15 year marriage.

KulshanGirl

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 459
  • Location: Washington State
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #23 on: September 16, 2013, 09:53:38 AM »
I haven't ever been married, but went through a split with my husboyfriend earlier this year.  In our case, things went well as we had separate finances and agreed on everything involving our daughter.  BUT.  From this point on, now that I have a child and have set out on the mustachian path, I am stumped as to how a relationship is going to fit into my life any time soon.  Which is fine, because I'm enjoying singledom for now.  I do like Franklin's point about being willing to lose it all - that is how I've rolled in the past, only now I'm dead sure I'm NOT willing to do that.  I could say that I'll never get married, but knowing me I'll tie the knot at 60 to some frugal farmer/artist/drummer or something.  :)     

jrhampt

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1074
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Connecticut
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2013, 12:54:53 PM »
I think one thing that can help anyone is to understand how certain life choices would play out in the event of a split. A prenuptial agreement can certainly help, particularly if there's an imbalance of assets or earnings/pensions entering the relationship. Same is true if there are children from a previous marriage, as already noted. I insisted on a prenup for my second (current) marriage, as I had kids' interests to protect, and I was not interested in splitting my wealth in half a second time.

But perhaps equally important is understanding how your shared wealth and future earnings would be split in the event of a divorce. In almost all cases, unless it is spelled out otherwise in a prenup*, anything acquired during marriage will be split equally, regardless of who "earned" it. So if you're comfortable with the idea that everything acquired during the marriage should be evenly split, you have no worries. If you anticipate being a high earner compared to your spouse, or inheriting, or having a pension, etc., then you need to think carefully before commingling finances.

As an example, understand the ramifications of having one parent stay home to raise children while another is employed. There is no distinction in who "earned" the money and all the assets -- both parties contributed equally to the family in the eyes of the law, and it will all be split -- assets, earnings, pensions. The employed spouse could end up continuing to support that arrangement for life through alimony payments. Imagine, you have adult children who left home long ago, and you're continuing to support an ex spouse who doesn't work, and sits at home, for the rest of his/her life on your continued earnings (you still have to go to work), because that is the arrangement you set up 20 years ago when you were still married with babies! Oh, and your spouse left you? Doesn't matter, you still pay. There will be no early retirement for you, because your alimony payment will never be reduced, and certainly not by you choosing to retire early.

* Even with a prenup, you may be unlikely to keep things separate. As soon as an asset or earnings are commingled in any way, it's now marital property to be split equally. And a prenup likely will not be upheld if there's a gross imbalance.

For anyone contemplating marriage or divorce, read DoubleDowns' post several times until you really get it.  It's no joke and happens every day.  I have a friend who started his/her LIFETIME alimony/maintenance payments not long after turning 40.  LIFETIME does not mean until you retire - it means until one of you dies or the receiver of the alimony remarries!  That's a high cost for 15 year marriage.

This is why I support equality in relationships, financial and otherwise.  You want to find a partner who is as equally matched with you as possible.  Ideally, you would have near-equal incomes and savings rates.

CommonCents

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2386
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #25 on: September 16, 2013, 02:02:20 PM »
As an example, understand the ramifications of having one parent stay home to raise children while another is employed. There is no distinction in who "earned" the money and all the assets -- both parties contributed equally to the family in the eyes of the law, and it will all be split -- assets, earnings, pensions. The employed spouse could end up continuing to support that arrangement for life through alimony payments. Imagine, you have adult children who left home long ago, and you're continuing to support an ex spouse who doesn't work, and sits at home, for the rest of his/her life on your continued earnings (you still have to go to work), because that is the arrangement you set up 20 years ago when you were still married with babies! Oh, and your spouse left you? Doesn't matter, you still pay. There will be no early retirement for you, because your alimony payment will never be reduced, and certainly not by you choosing to retire early.

To put another perspective out there.  Imagine you leave the workforce and devote yourself - as agreed - to raising your 3 children.  You could go back to work when the kid are in school, but your spouse wants you to stay home to keep house, run the kids to their activities, volunteer with the kids activities, take care of admin, etc.  The last one is off to college 25 years later.  You are now 50-odd and your spouse then drops the bombshell - now that the kids are gone s/he wants a divorce.  You try to get a job, but in this economy...getting a job at your age is tough, particularly with no experience.  And if you do get a job, you'll get one commensurate with your experience - not one you could have gotten had you worked all of those years.  So you struggle and meanwhile, your spouse sees little change (beyond splitting the total marital wealth into your share and his/her share) because s/he never left the workforce, has years of experience and not just a job but a career.

This tale isn't me.  I have a career and a husband.  But I've taken a family law class, and I've done pro bono work.  I've seen both sides of the equation.  Many jurisdictions are moving towards limiting alimony, to rehabilitative alimony, but recognize that long-term marriages are complicating.  Yes, both parties should understand the ramifications - but even still, I would tend to tell my best friend to NOT stay home unless well protected, because she is more likely to end up with the more difficult path rather than the earning spouse.

DoubleDown

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1991
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #26 on: September 16, 2013, 02:59:40 PM »
^^^

Agreed, both parties should understand the consequences of their choices. I did not mean to imply that the situation is necessarily unfair for men or the person paying alimony; in many cases the stay-at-home person has made sacrifices as well giving up their own career, and it would not make sense to expect them to waltz back into the workforce after being absent so many years. I suspect though, that many working partners with higher incomes don't understand what they could be signing themselves up for in the event of a split.

+1 on rehabilitative alimony. My state (Virginia) is old fashioned both in divorce, alimony and custody laws, too bad it hasn't become more progressive. As an example, it is one of only 7 remaining states that do not have a presumption of shared custody. Instead, it's left to the parents to fight it out -- "in the best interests of the children", of course (great!!).

CommonCents

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2386
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #27 on: September 16, 2013, 03:24:14 PM »
I think truly high earning folks know what they are risking.  They tend to get prenups.  But those a few steps down the ladder likely are not as informed as they ought to be, on both sides.

BIOC (best interests of the children) is fairly universal.  It startles people though to find out what that might mean.  For example, a judge might not agree with you that it's in the best interests of a child to stay home at a frugal level, rather than continue working.  Similarly with child support, note that one parent can argue in at least some states that you shouldn't take a lower paying job and can get alimony/child support on what you "ought" to be capable of earning, even if not doing so.  Not great for the person quiting a low paying job to go school....

Mine, Massachusetts, has recently revamped its laws.  I haven't read through the new ones myself, but I've heard they've moved away from long-term alimony.  In both MA and PA though, at least most judges deem it to be in the BIOC that parents have shared legal custody, if not physical.

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8798
  • Registered member
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #28 on: September 16, 2013, 03:58:47 PM »
What I want to know is why so many people seem extremely surprised at their spouse's actions during divorce.  Are there no personality warning signs one can look for to determine if your potential partner is going to drag you through the coals in a divorce?  As mentioned above, plenty of people can find amicable solutions that are, for the most part, fair.  So did someone hide their true personality really well, or change personalities?  Or did you always know your spouse was a shark and you just though they'd always be on your side?  Serious question.

totoro

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2101
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #29 on: September 16, 2013, 04:27:27 PM »
What I want to know is why so many people seem extremely surprised at their spouse's actions during divorce.  Are there no personality warning signs one can look for to determine if your potential partner is going to drag you through the coals in a divorce?  As mentioned above, plenty of people can find amicable solutions that are, for the most part, fair.  So did someone hide their true personality really well, or change personalities?  Or did you always know your spouse was a shark and you just though they'd always be on your side?  Serious question.

I think there are warning signs for many, but they might be the same things that contribute to a divorce.  You might marry while in the honeymoon stage, have a kid, and try and stick it out thinking it will get better.  I know several people who were in this situation.

In addition, divorce tends to bring out the worst in many people.  Loss/grief and high stakes over money and kids can create lead to irrational decisions.  Good people can go a little nuts in those circumstances.

secondcor521

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2415
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Boise, Idaho
  • Big cattle, no hat.
    • Age of Eon - Overwatch player videos
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #30 on: September 16, 2013, 06:59:59 PM »
What I want to know is why so many people seem extremely surprised at their spouse's actions during divorce.  Are there no personality warning signs one can look for to determine if your potential partner is going to drag you through the coals in a divorce?  As mentioned above, plenty of people can find amicable solutions that are, for the most part, fair.  So did someone hide their true personality really well, or change personalities?  Or did you always know your spouse was a shark and you just though they'd always be on your side?  Serious question.

It was the bolded part above in my case.  There were probably signs when we were dating 16 years prior, but I was an in love dumb horny naive 21 year old.

She was a SAHM during our 15 year marriage.  We split the assets 50/50 and the kids 66/33; I was OK with the former but saddened by the latter.  I also paid a small lump-sum rehabilitative alimony, have paid child support for 7 years and will pay for another 7.  I will fund college for the three kids based on my own values and not anything written in the divorce decree.  In my state child support basically goes through high school.

So for me, short term it was an atrocious setback, but even before the divorce became final I realized that the financial damage was now limited and I could earn and save my way to a good spot.

7 years after the divorce and I am now FI and in OMY mode.  I have no real expenses other than child support and the mortgage.  If things continue the way they have been, I will have enough to pay off the mortgage by my birthday next year when I turn 45.

I'm still single and haven't really dated, which is atypical.  Mainly I don't trust myself to make a similar mistake again.  I'm romantic thick-headed enough to not go the prenup route, but am also not keen to split my net worth in half a second time.  Plus now I don't trust women after one of them broke her vows to me.  I realize that's painting with too broad of a brush, but it keeps me safe from the pain.

HappierAtHome

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8579
  • Location: Australia
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #31 on: September 16, 2013, 07:51:56 PM »
Despite not even being engaged yet, my partner and I have made sure we're on the same page with what will happen if we divorce. I guess both having divorced parents helps us to be realistic. We'll split the wealth 50-50 regardless of who has earned more, and custody of children 50-50.

But my main learnings from failed relationships so far are that if you are on the same page with financial and life goals, spending habits, etc, the risk of hideous breakups is a lot lower, and if you spend several years building a life together before marrying, you should already know whether you're horribly incompatible and you have an opportunity to back out.

Of course, I'm pretty confident that my bf isn't a nutjob, or I wouldn't be willing to marry him. So I'm planning on being that old, daggy couple celebrating their 50th anniversary and driving their kids mad.

HappierAtHome

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8579
  • Location: Australia
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #32 on: September 17, 2013, 06:06:26 AM »
I would also like to share my dad's advice on marriage: know your partner. Know them well. Know how they behave when nothing in their life is working out how they want. Know how they act when they're dead tired and cranky. Know how they react in tough situations. Live with them long enough that they drop their public persona and you see their true face. Ask someone honest and insightful "do you see any issues with this person?". Live with them long enough that you know what they're really like and what they really want from you.

Then if you still want to marry them, you get my blessing.

KulshanGirl

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 459
  • Location: Washington State
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #33 on: September 17, 2013, 09:22:35 AM »
I would also like to share my dad's advice on marriage: know your partner. Know them well. Know how they behave when nothing in their life is working out how they want. Know how they act when they're dead tired and cranky. Know how they react in tough situations. Live with them long enough that they drop their public persona and you see their true face. Ask someone honest and insightful "do you see any issues with this person?". Live with them long enough that you know what they're really like and what they really want from you.

Then if you still want to marry them, you get my blessing.

+1.  This is where I missed the boat. 

DoubleDown

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1991
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #34 on: September 17, 2013, 09:34:19 AM »

In addition, divorce tends to bring out the worst in many people.  Loss/grief and high stakes over money and kids can create lead to irrational decisions.  Good people can go a little nuts in those circumstances.

+1

meteor

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 404
  • Location: Outer Space
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #35 on: February 20, 2014, 02:37:45 PM »
Dave Ramsey said the biggest thing couples fight about is money -- which I assume might probably lead to divorce.  When I got married I was very firm about keeping our finances separate. We don't share any financial accounts at all. There is no issue when I want to buy something with my money, or he with his.  It may not sound very "romantic" but to me it's been a great relief that we never fight about money.  Now housecleaning...well that's another story :) actually he's pretty good.

quilter

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 149
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #36 on: February 20, 2014, 03:10:08 PM »
For the poster that asked I people could see any signs, divorcees I know  realized the signs too late.
For example, one person seems to drink a bit too much, you drink along to have fun.   Or they always seem to be waiting for the next paycheck to buy something.  Or they haven't gotten around to start saving in their 401k despite being eligible for a company match. Or you joke about how many pairs of shoes the partner has.  Or they pay a little to much attention to the opposite sex

Know your partner and don't be blinded by love or lust.

Beridian

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 137
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #37 on: February 20, 2014, 04:07:05 PM »
I had my clock cleaned. 

I can SO relate.  My divorce was final last year, I am in my mid fifties.   It was the worst financial hit of my entire lifetime.  I lost 50 percent of my worth and then some.  Prior to the divorce I was in pretty good shape, now I am struggling to rebuild.  It's a long story, but suffice it to say I was against the divorce, I was served papers out of the blue.  I may not have been the most attentive or romantic husband, but there was no abuse or misconduct on my part and I was a good provider.  The worst surprise was that I was required to pay her alimony.  Why? Because we were married 21 years and she was a stay at home mom for the last 10, she has no college degree.  I had been trying for years to get her to go back to work or go back to school but she was content to sleep in until 10 am every day, watch TV, and run up our charge cards.  (If you see your spouse doing this I strongly advise you to take drastic action!)

After a year and half of legal struggles (my attorney fees alone were $15,000) we finally settled.  She got 60% of my 401k, half my pension, plus I have to pay her the equivalent of a huge second mortgage in alimony payments for the next three years (on top of child support).  She also ran out and left me with our special needs-teenage daughter who requires a great deal of care, she took our son so i still have to pay child support towards his care....why?  Because I have a job with income and she does not (at least she did not at the time of the judgement).  I actually settled for a great deal less than she initially asked for, my attorney said I got off easy and I was lucky that I didn't have to pay her life-long alimony.

This is the ugly part of divorce.  It really doesn't matter who did what, who started the problem, who bailed out on whom.  What the courts look at (at least where I live) is THE ABILITY TO PAY.   If you have a good career and your spouse does not, watch out!    You could be financing a junkie's habit for the rest of your life because she as a junkie does not work, and you as a responsible person do.  The system sucks badly.

Do I sound bitter?  I am.  Never again.   Marriage is potentially slavery, modern day indentured servitude, you are signing away your rights and your wealth.  If you chose to marry I strongly advise you to get a good pre-nup agreement first and keep your finances separate.  Better yet, just have a relationship without signing the voluntary slavery documents that go along with marriage.


PS - if your marriage is looking shaky best to get out early, the longer you wait the more you will pay!
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 05:31:13 PM by Beridian »

meteor

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 404
  • Location: Outer Space
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #38 on: February 20, 2014, 06:36:00 PM »
I'm amazed at how two people can be so in love, and the next minute they are in court fighting over money (seen it happen to 2 couples whose expensive weddings I attended).  I can't imagine doing that.  I'd rather just walk down the street and rent an apt.  Who wants to fight over money?  Why does money bring out such *hate* in people? (I'm not referring to anyone here, mainly thinking of people I know).
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 06:40:31 PM by meteor »

jexy103

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 124
  • Location: Seoul, South Korea
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #39 on: February 20, 2014, 07:41:28 PM »
I am currently in the process of a divorce. It's not final, but if it falls out the way I hope and expect (he has the decree now and I'm waiting on his signature), I keep my accounts and he keeps his. We already split the joint checking/savings when we separated in October. We are both in our 20s and have few assets (a car each, and typical furniture, etc, no house/land) and no kids. Between his half of our liquid assets and his retirement account balances, he walked away with about $16,000 of what had been "our" net worth. I'm currently sitting pretty (comparitively) at about $56,000 in net worth (my current liquid assets plus my retirement account balances). My living expenses have increased significantly (rent, etc), but interestingly enough, so has my savings rate. :-D

There were other, deeper issues in our marriage, but we definitely didn't see eye-to-eye on money, either. He wanted a $40,000 overhaul on his 1975 Corvette (that hasn't been registered/inspected with the state in over 15 months... and did I mention he only makes about $30,000/year?), and I wanted to save for FIRE. Since losing the dead weight, I've been able to save an average of about 45% of my net income and have set up my automatic transactions to max out both my IRA and my TSP (401k). And he is free to spend his money however he chooses.

For me, the divorce has been a short-term setback, with a likely future of significant positive returns, both emotionally and financially. We were married less than 3 years, and my biggest mistake was not knowing him well enough beforehand. We had known each other for a few years prior to marriage, but we didn't date for long enough to know each other as partners instead of friends. Now I know for next time. I also plan to protect myself and my assets, because in a different situation, this could have gone a lot worse. And I plan on having significantly more assets by the time I marry again. :-D

Insanity

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1026
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #40 on: February 20, 2014, 07:52:11 PM »
I'm amazed at how two people can be so in love, and the next minute they are in court fighting over money (seen it happen to 2 couples whose expensive weddings I attended).  I can't imagine doing that.  I'd rather just walk down the street and rent an apt.  Who wants to fight over money?  Why does money bring out such *hate* in people? (I'm not referring to anyone here, mainly thinking of people I know).

Money isn't bringing out the hate.  It is the anger over the failed marriage that is.  Money is just the tool used to take that anger and frustration out.

I would be horribly screwed in a divorce.  Even if I gave up all non-retirement accounts and my non-business account.  My wife is a SAHM and we have two kids.  The alimony and child support would probably wipe out every bit of income I could bring in.

Beridian

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 137
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #41 on: February 20, 2014, 08:46:10 PM »
[/quote]  I would be horribly screwed in a divorce.  Even if I gave up all non-retirement accounts and my non-business account.  My wife is a SAHM and we have two kids.  The alimony and child support would probably wipe out every bit of income I could bring in.
[/quote]

Take my advice, do everything that you can to get your wife's earning potential up.  Even if she is a stay at home mom maybe she could take on-line classes and get some job skills.   Even a part time job is a step in the right direction.  Having her stay at home while her job skills atrophy is almost a guarantee of alimony in the event of a divorce.  Even if you two get along famously and stay married you are doing her a favor by improving her job skills.  What would happen if you became disabled and couldn't work?   It happens all the time to people.

Also I think a lot of people on this thread who say the money isn't a big deal must be younger folks.  When you are young quite honestly money is not such a big deal, you have a lifetime of earnings ahead of you.  When you start crowding 60 MONEY BECOMES A VERY BIG DEAL.  When you are young, your net worth tends to be much smaller.  Paradoxically, alimony typically is not awarded for shorter (younger) marriages when much less is at stake, rather alimony is awarded after long term marriages which tends to affect older people approaching retirement more severely.   When you are older you do not have the time to rebuild, also if you lose your job it is much more difficult to get a new job.  You have far fewer years to build up (or rebuild) the nest egg you need for financial independence and retirement.  Trust me, the older you get money becomes an increasingly bigger deal.  That is why I am on this forum.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 09:39:08 PM by Beridian »

Milspecstache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 510
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #42 on: February 20, 2014, 09:50:55 PM »
Same here.  Wife is SAHM who won't even entertain the idea of working outside the home.  She also turned down college when younger so her earning potential is far below my current one.  I also have more than 2 kids and will lose everything in the event of a divorce.

The sad thing is that because I'm the saver, the more I save the more she will get in the event of a divorce.

Cwadda

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2182
  • Age: 25
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #43 on: February 20, 2014, 11:00:53 PM »
I'm 19 but I'll try to explain my take on this as best as possible.

I want to be dead sure of who I'm going to be with for life. I want us to have a very similar outlook on life. I currently look for "marriage material" as much as possible. I don't think I'm going to tell my wife spouse about my finances until we are married. That's probably a bit of an exaggeration. But I'm not going to go around in the early stages telling my finances because it's just a way to marry for the wrong reason. My personal finances should be independent of how we mesh.

If any of that made sense...

Gray Matter

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3642
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #44 on: February 21, 2014, 06:08:42 AM »
It's interesting that we're hearing mostly from men on this thread.  I find some of the comments to be a little off-base (things like "she got/will get half of my net worth."  What's this "my"?  Shouldn't it be "our" net worth?).  That said, I feel the same way about SAHMhood though from a different angle.  I never wanted to be dependent on a man and didn't want to step out of the job market for any length of time because I know it can be difficult to re-enter.  Regardless of whether our marriage falls apart, something happens to DH (death or disability), or one of us lost a job, I wanted to have two viable incomes so we could weather any one of these.

As we get closer to FI, I find myself more willing to take risks and contemplate taking time off, lower paying job, part-time work, etc.  But those opportunities are available to DH as well.  I think having one SAHP and one working parent is a really valid choice for families to make, but it does introduce financial risks into the equation that I wasn't willing to take.

Beridian

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 137
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #45 on: February 21, 2014, 07:04:42 AM »
It's interesting that we're hearing mostly from men on this thread.  I find some of the comments to be a little off-base (things like "she got/will get half of my net worth."  What's this "my"?  Shouldn't it be "our" net worth?).  That said, I feel the same way about SAHMhood though from a different angle.  I never wanted to be dependent on a man and didn't want to step out of the job market for any length of time because I know it can be difficult to re-enter.  Regardless of whether our marriage falls apart, something happens to DH (death or disability), or one of us lost a job, I wanted to have two viable incomes so we could weather any one of these.


With my divorce I did not mind the division of property so much.  I went into it knowing that the wealth acquired during the marriage would be split 50/50/  I was OK with that.  What burns, and continues to burn is the alimony.   My X chose to live a casual life of relaxation for the the last five years of our marriage.   Despite my continued prodding for her to get a job or finish her education, she chose to be lazy.  And of course the courts do not want to hear this.   All they want to hear is that I make money and she does not so all other factors aside I am now a slave and I am forced to pay her monthly slavery payments.  ON top of that she walked away with a large property settlement so it wasn't like she was destitute.   BTW she jumped up and got a job about the same time the ink was dry on the judgement.  On top of that she spent money like a drunken sailor (again over my continued protests).   Three time she ran her charge cards up into five digits, three times I paid then off and she promised not to do it again.   

The alimony....it burns.  In my case I feel it was very unjust.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 08:27:23 AM by Beridian »

zhelud

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 229
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #46 on: February 21, 2014, 07:06:46 AM »
It's interesting that we're hearing mostly from men on this thread.  I find some of the comments to be a little off-base (things like "she got/will get half of my net worth."  What's this "my"?  Shouldn't it be "our" net worth?). 

This x1000
Although my husband and I have probably contributed about equally to our total net worth, I can't imagine agreeing to anything other than a 50/50 split, even if he had been home with the kids for 10 years (which counts as work IMHO!) instead of earning outside the home.

MrFancypants

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 565
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #47 on: February 21, 2014, 07:07:06 AM »
I love it when people who get or got divorced say "she took half of MY net worth" when really, far more often than not, she only took her half of what the two of you accumulated together while married.

CommonCents

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2386
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #48 on: February 21, 2014, 07:41:47 AM »
It's interesting that we're hearing mostly from men on this thread.  I find some of the comments to be a little off-base (things like "she got/will get half of my net worth."  What's this "my"?  Shouldn't it be "our" net worth?).  That said, I feel the same way about SAHMhood though from a different angle.  I never wanted to be dependent on a man and didn't want to step out of the job market for any length of time because I know it can be difficult to re-enter.  Regardless of whether our marriage falls apart, something happens to DH (death or disability), or one of us lost a job, I wanted to have two viable incomes so we could weather any one of these.

Agreed, it is very interesting.  I also find it interesting that I find myself very unhappy at the attitude expressed here (force her to get a job so she doesn't get YOUR stuff!) and yet, I've told women the same thing - only in much different terms (be careful giving up your job to stay at home with the kids!  you skills will atrophy/not be up to date, you will be dependent on him/the courts and can get really screwed over if you divorce).  It's all in the tone and phrasing I guess.  I know of a couple that got married - he's from a wealthy family and has lots of money but invested it in businesses.  She supported him in this (financially paying for their bills, emotionally and housework).  They got married, both intending her to stay home and have lots of kids (part of their religion).  JUST before (*cough, asshole*) they were to get married he hands her a prenup, which offers her....nothing, if she gives up her job to be at home as both wanted, nothing for supporting him while he got his busineses going, nothing.  He refused to even pay her insurance for a time while she'd look for a job (she's got medical issues so giving up the job is a big deal), which I thought was pretty low.  They got married and then divorced a year later before kids, thankfully, and thankfully her old company wanted her back.  ETA: I'm not opposed to prenups, and support them in certain situations.  I just think surprising someone with one is not a cool move, and  the courts agree bc it can even make the prenup fail to hold up.

TL;DR: There are sucky stories on both sides of the fence.  It's not just men or women that get screwed in a divorce.

I love it when people who get or got divorced say "she took half of MY net worth" when really, far more often than not, she only took her half of what the two of you accumulated together while married.

+1
Except the lawyers got a share too, so both parties got less than 50% and are wicked unhappy as a result.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 07:53:01 AM by CommonCents »

oldladystache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 695
  • Age: 74
  • Location: coastal southern california
Re: Divorce - WMFD (Weapon of Mass Financial Destruction)
« Reply #49 on: February 21, 2014, 07:46:01 AM »
I got half of our assets. It never occurred to me to ask for alimony. I was just happy to be able to finally control my half before he lost it on one more get rich scheme.

He hasn't gotten rich yet, but he still has some of his half left. Meanwhile, my net worth has about doubled in the past 10 years.